Great Heroes of Classic Rock

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Classic rock is a term used loosely to describe albums released in the early to late 70′s by artists that have become legendary and therefore “classics.”

Most of these artists were highly original and became influential on many bands in subsequent generations to come. No matter what era you were born in, almost any band you listen to has been influenced by artists and bands from the 1970s. Moreover, even if you are only in your teens and you think your favorite band is “totally original,” chances are they were influenced by a musician or group from that era, even if they don’t consciously know it. 

The seventies were a great era because it was truly a ground breaking time for music. Nothing was copied or rehashed and everyone had their own sound. The 1970s represented a culmination and expansion of sounds that were experimented on in the 1960s. Bands such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Jimi Hendrix, Free, Allman Brothers, Queen, Black Sabbath, Cream, David Bowie, Status Quo are all examples of acts who made their start in the 60′s but found their sound and style in the 70′s, and therefore gave rise to many other bands who then added their own flavour to these styles.

Lesser known bands such as Uriah Heep, Wishbone Ash, Grand Funk Railroad, Scorpions (who became quite huge in the 80′s), and Thin Lizzy are worthy of mentions but would not necessarily legends, where as other acts such as Queen became absolutely huge and remain so to this day.

It is the same with guitar heroes. Almost every guitarist, no matter what age, has heard of or listened to Hendrix, Clapton, or Jimmy Page but there are other extremely talented and influential guitarists who are less well known that should have legend status as well. Two such examples are Richie Blackmore from Deep purple and Michael Schenker from UFO. You will find some modern players such as Kirk Hammet and Dimebag Darrel were heavily influenced by Michael Schenker, but Schenker has not really achieved “god like” status some of his contemporaries like Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton have.

I could go on for hours about classic rock and there are hundreds of excellent albums that are still available today but some songs and albums deserve special mention for their guitar prowess and are worth your time to have at least a quick listen. Here’s a quick list of four lesser known gems of classic musical genius that are worth a listen:

Deep purple:

Guitarist: Richie Blackmore:

Choice albums: Made in Japan and Deep Purple in Rock

Songs: Highway Star, Child in Time.

Some of the most blistering guitar work you will ever hear recorded in the early 70′s and held the Guinness Book of Records title as the loudest recording ever made!

UFO:

Guitarist: Michael Schenker.

Choice Albums: Phenomenon and Force It.

Songs: Rock Bottom

One of the most exciting and dynamic solos ever recorded, he was about 18 at the time!

FREE: (later to become” bad company” another excellent act!!)

Guitarist Paul Kossof

Album: Best of Free.

Songs: All Right Now, Fire and Water, .Mr. Big [live]

Simplistic and slow style excellent natural tone, all feeling!!! A Les Paul plugged straight into a marshal, no pedals and no tricks.

WISHBONE ASH:

Guitarists: Andy Powell & Ted Turner.

Choice albums: Argus and There’s The Rub.

Excellent melody and twin harmony lead breaks, copied by many acts since! Very complex arrangements.

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